WITH the holidays over, the touristy City of Victoria Falls is moving to curb the spike in COVID-19 cases which may have resulted from unrestricted movement in December.
Steven Bafana (55) of Mkhosana is one of many health seekers whose access to medical services has been affected by the ongoing COVID-19-induced lockdown announced early in the month.
Bafana, a businessperson who operates a small grocery shop, is recovering from stroke and has been attending physiotherapy sessions.
He is also hypertensive and should regularly visit Victoria Falls Hospital for blood pressure check-ups, an exercise hampered by the lockdown.
The COVID-19 response team in Victoria Falls has introduced home deliveries for medical prescriptions and medicines to patients as a way of containing a fresh wave of infections—a welcome development for patients like Bafana.
There are over 100 positive active cases in Victoria Falls and most are self-isolating at home, according to health officials.
Bafana says he received the message that he could be assisted from home.
Acting Hwange district medical officer Selleman Saidi has encouraged residents to use the service to remain self-isolated and prevent new infections.
Saidi says considering this constant increase in numbers, anyone who has had contact with anyone known or suspected to be COVID-19 positive should self-isolate at home for the recommended 14 days.
From here, the pharmacy has a responsibility to contact the patient and arrange for payment and delivery.
Matabeleland North provincial medical director Munekayi Padingani says home deliveries are only available to those with prescriptions signed by a registered health official.
The country has no COVID-19 vaccine as yet while there is no concrete date for rollout of vaccines.
Pharmacies are currently giving recommended medicines that minimise effects of COVID-19 on positive patients, while the use of traditional herbs and home-made concoctions has also become popular.
Health officials say Victoria Falls is slowly turning into a COVID-19 hotspot following an influx of locals and returning citizens for the holidays in the resort town in December.
Council also recently temporarily shut down and opened online payment methods for ratepayers after some employees tested positive.
Padingani says the opening of borders in December resulted in the current infections rate.
As of January 25, Matabeleland North had 1 124 cumulative cases, 545 of them active and 12 deaths.— Vicky